It’s the 21st century, just about everyone over 18 has at least one kid! One thing is for certain: it takes two to tango, so while there’s a huge population of single mothers out there, we can’t forget about the single dads! You can’t have a baby mama without the baby daddy.
Now whether the children were a result of a one-night stand or a loving marriage that just fizzled and burned, the fact is when you are dating a single dad, it’s literally a whole new world! In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons, secrets to win them over, and a few other pointers that we feel you’ll need to know in order to pursue a relationship with a single father! We know you’ve been contemplating swiping right on that guy with the dad bod, you just keep telling yourself that you’re simply not ready to deal with kids, or anything that comes with dating someone’s father!
Here is everything you’ll need to know in order to make your decision.
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Weigh The Differences
Honestly, as a woman who dated a single father and actually ended up marrying him, I can definitely say it’s a whole new ballgame compared to dating a childless man. His son ended up absolutely adoring me, and I bucked up and dealt with his mom the best way I could while we were dating, which was civility. I didn’t get involved in arguments or discussions; I kept my distance and it paid off in the long run. We all get along perfectly now, five years later, and it really just couldn’t have had a better outcome.
When dating a man with no kids, you really just have to worry about crazy exes, if anything– and any sort of baggage he may have in any other way (being too close with his “female friends”, very close to his mom, anger problems, etc.). On the other hand, a man with a child has had to grow up VERY fast, even if he’s only 19 or in his early twenties. He’s likely been through a lot, whereas a childless dude may have zero cares or responsibilities in the world. He gets to do whatever he wants without having to worry about child support, weekend/week-long visits, split costs for extracurricular activities, diapers, school supplies… The list just goes on and on.
They’re both completely different worlds, so you need to prepare for any and everything that could possibly happen when in a relationship with a dad!
Pros of Dating a Single Dad
He wants a good woman
One of the greatest things about dating a single father is the fact that he’s over the games– he’s ready for something real, with a wonderful woman! He likely has his standards set high, simply because he wants nothing but the best for his children. If you’re done with guys ghosting you with no explanation, then find yourself a single dad! He’ll tell you like it is, and whether or not he wants to pursue a relationship.
He’s nurturing and sensitive
When a man has kids, he leaves any immature, childish intentions behind– one of those being that he isn’t worried about bottling up his feelings and just letting them marinate. He’s open and honest about how he feels, whether you like it or not. He won’t berate you or just blame everything on you; that’s where the sensitivity comes in. He also cares about how YOU’RE feeling.
More likely than not, he’s willing to go above and beyond to ensure that you’re satisfied (in more ways than one!) You’ll have a shoulder to cry on, and you won’t have to hide your emotions any longer. He is there and he is listening!
He’s more concerned with inner beauty
You know you’re tired of dating guys who care entirely too much about your outer appearance– guys that think a full face of nude makeup is considered “natural”; the ones who make jokes about taking you to a pool or a beach for your first date to see “what’s under all that makeup”, you know what I’m talking about!
Fathers know that true beauty comes from within, so you can feel free to pig out in your pj’s with your hair tied on the floor in front of the TV together, in a completely judgment-free zone. He has been pooped, peed and vomited on countless times; he is not worried about what you look like without makeup on, I promise!
You’ll know for a fact he’s a good dad
The best part about deciding whether or not you want to have kids with a man who already has them, is the fact that he already has them! You’ll know firsthand that he’s a great dad, and he will have plenty of experience by the time you both come to the decision that you want to have a baby of your own. You may be entering a whole new world when it comes to having kids, but he will know all the tricks and secrets and will be able to help you learn the ropes and get into the swing of things. You won’t have to rely on your mom’s old-fashioned parenting tips, and you don’t have to take unwanted advice from randoms who think they are some sort of childcare experts. Having a dad as a partner really comes in handy in so many ways– especially when you want to have children of your own!
If he has a daughter: he knows how a woman should be treated!
Watching my husband be a father to his first son was one thing, but when I gave birth to our first child together, our daughter, he completely changed overnight. He was so gentle, sweet and soft-hearted with her, it would bring tears to my eyes. When a man becomes a father to his first baby girl, his entire demeanor changes. You can have the biggest, toughest, biker-type dude who rarely expresses emotional vulnerability, and watch him melt into a puddle when his baby girl tells him she loves him.
He wants the best of the best for his little girl, so he makes sure she sees how a woman should be treated- by treating the women in her life with respect and honor (yes, even his ex, her mom). You’ll have doors held open for you, chairs pulled out for you, the whole nine yards. I personally love having a girl-dad as my man! I’ve never felt so loved and cherished, and I know my daughter feels the same way about him.
Cons to Dating a Single Dad
Baby mama drama!
This is the big one! You really never know how crazy a baby mama can be until you deal with one. You may totally luck out and get with a guy who has a decent co-parenting relationship with his ex, or you could get the butt end of the stick and have to put up with a jealous, conniving woman who is literally set out to make your life miserable. I know that’s harsh, but when it comes to her kids, a woman can be seriously petty!
You have to remember, she is a scorned woman somehow or another, however their relationship ended has likely left her bitter and confused. She will likely do anything she can to try and tear you and your man apart, but you cannot let that bring you down! You’re much better off remaining civil and uninvolved with hers and your guy’s business as long as you hold the girlfriend status. If you feel especially disrespected, bring it up to him and let him know how you feel so he can handle it. Never bad-mouth the mother in front of the kid(s) either, that is a HUGE no-no!
You won’t be first in his life
No matter how long you’re with this man, you will never be #1 in his eyes until you reach wife status! His babies are his top priority. Don’t let that discourage you; it’s a good thing to know your man is already a good dad, so if you make the decision to procreate with him, you’ll be sure that he is going to be great at it, as he has experience already. The only negative part of this really is all things get dropped if something happens with his kids; like if you have a romantic beach date planned one day, and he gets a call from the school for an emergency parent meeting, your date will be postponed. Anything of that nature can happen at any time, and you just have to accept that not everything goes exactly as planned when it comes to kids. You just kinda have to roll with it and plan as accordingly as possible!
He won’t have a lot of money to blow on you
Unless he is lucky enough to have full custody of his children, a man almost always has this responsibility when he fathers a child or children: child support. Every month, on average, a father with shared custody or no custody of his child has to pay about $450-$500 to his child’s mother, whether he gets to see the child or not. We like to assume that responsible mothers spend it on necessities for her children, not her hair, nails and closet.
With all this being said, your dude will likely not have the funds to just shell out for some extravagant date or vacation at the last minute. Even with him paying that much monthly, he probably STILL has to provide any necessities his son may need in the middle of the month that couldn’t be taken care of when the child support was received. He has the obligation to facilitate whatever his son or daughter may need that the mother might not be able to provide.
This is something you’ll have to deal with literally until the kid is 18, so go easy on the man! He’s broke and he wants to give you the world. He will at least be more likely to take you on dates that are well-thought out and meaningful, rather than lavish and expensive.
You’re an intruder
Not in the sense of breaking and entering of course, but your guy’s kids may not be your biggest fans at first. It’s natural for children to want their parents to be together, especially if their parents actually were together and they can remember it. You may be talked back to, tested or even completely ignored in the beginning, then again maybe you won’t! You just have to be prepared for either outcome. You don’t know what that child’s mom is saying about you to them, and you are also new in the world of having kids so you have to have patience of steel.
Chances are, they just need time to warm up to you, so don’t force anything, just let things happen as they will and take everything as you go. Kids are small and don’t quite understand the dynamics of their daddy being in love with someone that isn’t their mommy, so just give them the benefit of the doubt, and you’ll probably end up with a little best friend at the end of it all!
5 Secret Tips To Win Them Over
There are all kinds of things you can do to steal a man’s heart, but what about a dad’s heart? Sure, you could do the basic stuff, like do his laundry, buy him a shirt or something, but you want to do something a little more out there, without seeming like you’re trying too hard.
1. Cook for him
He hasn’t been taken care of by anyone in a long time; he’s used to caring for his little critters by himself and is probably tired of just ordering them pizza and happy meals. If your man is at work, have a nice, filling dinner ready for when he walks through that door. I can assure you his mood will be improved by 100%!
2. Enjoy kid-friendly outings
If your guy only gets his kids on the weekends, he likely doesn’t want to find a babysitter one one of the very few nights he gets to spend with them to go out somewhere. Your best bet is to schedule an outing that is kid appropriate, but also fun for adults! Take them to the beach, a museum, an arcade, or a bowling alley! The possibilities are all super fun, and endless!
3. Be willing to just stay in and hang out
You can really get to a man’s heart if you don’t expect too much out of him. When a guy has kids, he isn’t always as willing to go out and party every night, so he can appreciate a nice night in. Not only is it fun, it’s free to stay home! Make a blanket fort on the floor in the living room, turn on some Netflix, order a pizza and maybe eat some ice cream to top it all off! You can all take turns picking what to watch, and have a full blown movie night!
4. Take it slow
This is pretty self-explanatory; just don’t try and rush things with your guy! Let everything unfold and happen as it will. You won’t regret it in the long run!
5. Love his kids!
If you aren’t a kid person, you’re in the wrong place! His children are there to stay, and you are dispensable. You have to at least learn to get along with his kids, but it really helps if you love them like they’re your own. He will appreciate it so much and I’m sure it will make him fall hard for you!
I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times– there is absolutely NOTHING like dating a single dad! He will be one of the sweetest, caring, tender and loving guys you will have ever been with, and you’ll get some sweet little buddies as an added bonus!
10/10, would recommend dating a dad; once you love one, anything considered “baggage” is no longer relevant; you get the hang of things and before you know it, you’re living a whole life with a family with this man! If you’re still thinking about swiping right on that dad on Tinder, go for it! You won’t regret it!